Ten years after a pair of 6-year-olds vanish from a suburban New Jersey home, one of them is spotted in London. But what about the other?
Following an unlikely tip, Windsor Horne Lockwood III spots a boy he’s sure is his missing cousin Rhys Baldwin’s friend Patrick Moore working a rough-trade corner of London’s King’s Cross Station. Their potential reunion is disrupted by a trio of menacing toughs, and by the time Win looks up, the boy has taken off. But Win, whose stacks of old money have still left him powerless to track down Patrick and Rhys for a decade, isn’t about to give up now. He phones an old buddy back in the U.S., sports agent–turned-detective Myron Bolitar (Live Wire, 2011), yanks him away from his fiancee, Terese Collins, once more, and jets him to London. Their inquiries lead the pair to a gamer called Fat Gandhi, who demands 100,000 pounds for each of the boys—a discount price, considering that the million-dollar ransom Rhys’ father, hedge fund manager Chick Baldwin, dropped off 10 years ago led nowhere. Following an unexpectedly crooked road, Myron and Win eventually flush out Patrick again, and his now-divorced parents instantly spirit him back home. Their rejoicing is muted, though, by the continued absence of Rhys, which Chick and his wife, Brooke, feel all the more keenly because the Moores erect a protective wall of silence around Patrick. Even when Myron’s nephew Mickey and his goth girlfriend, Ema Wyatt, figure out a way to get him to open up, he has nothing to add to the Finnish au pair’s tale of the kidnapping. Is it possible the rescued boy isn’t even Patrick?
Coben, who normally has few rivals at keeping the pot boiling (Fool Me Once, 2016, etc.), this time settles for a simmer until unleashing his trademark twists late in the proceedings. This one is for fans with even more patience than the parents of those kidnapped boys.